Philips SDC5100 CushionSpeaker

Blog Andy Shaw Feb 18, 2011

The Cushionspeaker is a neat idea, combining PC speakers with a comfy, padded laptop rest.

Pros and Cons

Product Pros: + Boost your laptop’s poor-quality speakers
+ Keep your laptop and your lap comfy and cool
Product Cons: - If it’s just sound you’re after, invest in some better speakers

If you surf the web on a laptop from the comfort of your sofa or bed, it seems something of a shame not to make the most of your comfortable surroundings. A padded laptop rest for your lap can help disperse the heat from the laptop and ensure your legs don't get hot or your laptop doesn't overheat in the folds of your duvet. This model from Philips goes one better, adding a USB speaker to boost your laptop's audio output.

Although it's still a simple accessory, the speaker lifts this laptop rest above its rivals. Laptops are notorious for their poor sound and the speakers on this device improve the sound quality no end. A retractable USB cable pulls out of the back of the unit to connect to a USB port on your laptop. The cushion itself is covered in fabric and has just the right amount of padding. On the top, there's a shiny non-slip plastic surface to keep your laptop from gliding away from you, presuming it already has rubber feet.

It's not going to replace dedicated speakers if you have them, but considering its all-in-one nature, the speaker quality is surprisingly good. Certainly, if you're generally disappointed by the quality of your laptop's speakers, this is a significant step up. It also did a great job of keeping our lap cool.

Ease of use
All you need to do with a laptop cushion is place it under your laptop. This particular model has the added complication of a speaker but the retractable cable and driver-less set-up makes it a simple case of plug and go (or in this case, plug and stay put).

Value for money
You may think that £60 for a tray on a cushion is a bit steep, and you could potentially get a better speaker by spending the same amount on a dedicated model. However, it's the convenience of the bundle that makes it good value.